HSBC has hired Sir Nicholas Stern, former World Bank chief economist, to advise the firm on climate change.
Stern wrote the famous report – the Economics of Climate Change, which suggested it would be more expensive to tackle global warming in the future than now, and that it could cut global GDP by 20 per cent if folks fail to sort out the problem quickly.
For Greenbang, this is a big deal because he was able to make the link between climate change and economics. His report started changing people’s perceptions and has since caused business leaders to start questioning how they will run their firms in the future.
In short, for those people in the sustainability industry, he is a big name.
Stern will still work at the London School of Economics, but will advise HSBC on the socio-economic implications of climate; management development programmes; and business strategies.
According to HSBC’s website, Stern said:
“HSBC understands that climate change is an issue we cannot ignore. I intend to further develop and incorporate an understanding of climate change into HSBC’s economic models and analysis for the future. Unless organisations of this scale embed the principles of sustainability into their business and respond to what we already know about the causes and likely impacts of climate change, they will be letting down their customers, their shareholders and future generations.”
HSBC has committed US$90 million over five years to reduce its impact on the environment through the introduction of renewable energy technology, water and waste reduction programmes and employee engagement.